Greenlining is sponsoring AB 961, authored by Assembly member Eloise Gomez Reyes of the 47th District. AB 961 would adopt a recommendation in the California Energy Commission’s unanimously adopted SB 350 Low-Income Barriers Study to establish common definitions of “non-energy benefits” or community benefits of clean energy programs, develop standards to measure them, and prioritize projects that promote them in Environmental Justice Communities. This means that regulators would consider additional benefits of clean energy programs, including job creation and improved community health, in evaluating their effectiveness.
Greenlining Institute Energy Equity Legal Counsel Madeline Stano spoke at the California Energy Commission’s EPIC Symposium about how the Electric Program Investment Charge, or EPIC, can play an important part in a just transition to clean energy that benefits low-income and disadvantaged communities. In remarks at the Symposium’s panel on Equitable and Resilient Communities, Stano described how their work in the San Joaquin Valley showed them how low-income communities of color suffer the burdens of a fossil fuel economy, both socially and environmentally.
Stano explained how they view the Electric Program Investment Charge – a ratepayer program that supports development of clean energy technologies — as a just transition policy, quoting Canadian labor organizer Brian Kohler, who said, “The real choice is not jobs or environment. It is both or neither.”
To further that just transition, Stano urged program participants to “meet communities where they are—physically and metaphorically. Go to the communities you seek to build relationships and show up with curiosity and something to offer.”
The Greenlining Institute’s Environmental Equity Legal Counsel Joel Espino submitted expert testimony regarding Southern California Edison’s application to the California Public Utilities Commission for approval of a $760 million program to deploy 48,000 EV charging ports. Greenlining is part of this proceeding and will continue to advocate for racial equity by ensuring this investment creates the most benefits for low-income people of color.
Greenlining urged the California Public Utilities Commission to approve a series of pilot projects to bring long-overdue relief to low-income rural communities lacking natural gas service, providing residents with cleaner and healthier alternatives for heating and cooking, as well as home weatherization and energy efficiency upgrades.
The Greenlining Institute issued comments strongly opposing the Department of Homeland Security’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Public Charge. The proposed rule would expand the list of factors considered in whether immigrants applying for green cards would be “public charges,” or dependent on government assistance. This rule threatens the food, health and housing security of immigrant families and would undermine our nation’s public health.
The Greenlining Institute and coalition partners submitted a comment letter in response to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Greenlining pushed back against the OCC’s proposals to weaken the CRA by widening the scope and reducing the focus of the law on historically underserved communities. Greenlining made recommendations to improve and strengthen the law by adopting a focus on racial inequity and expanding regulatory oversight to bank affiliates and online lenders.
The Greenlining Institute endorsed a letter spearheaded by the Fed Up! Campaign calling for changes in how Federal Reserve Bank Presidents are chosen. In 2017, Raphael Bostic was named President of the Atlanta Fed, the first African American to serve at that level, and there has never been a Latinx Federal Reserve Regional Bank President. The makeup of Fed appointees is heavily skewed towards the financial industry, with nearly 80 percent of Directors coming from the business or banking sectors.
The Greenlining Institute joined with The Center for Popular Democracy’s Fed Up Coalition, Action NC, California Reinvestment Coalition, National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders, New York Communities for Change, PolicyLink and the Revolving Door Project to demand more transparency and meaningful public input in the critical process of selecting new leadership at the Fed and its Regional Banks.